Many people use Tomahawks as bushcraft tools to help build and construct structures in the wild, but the tomahawk has warrior roots. You’ll find a growing selection of tactical tomahawks on the market, intended for self-defense and combat. Either way, you need to have a reliable tomahawk explicitly suited for your needs, and finding the best one can be a little daunting.
The Browning Shock N Awe Tomahawk is an affordable tomahawk that not only looks great but has a proven bushcraft record. It sports some features that start to breach the gap between general bushcraft and tactical tomahawk. We recently took a closer look at the features of this tool and its design to make everyday tasks more effortless in the wild.
- Made from Highly Carbon 1055 steel
- Powder-coated in different colors for style and protection
- An overall length of only 10.5-inches
- The cutting edge is around 2.75-inches and includes a spike on the back
- Paracord wrapped handle for even more grip and control
- It comes with a black Kydex sheath
- Includes an additional glass breaker on the handle
First things first. The 2.75″ blade is made from High Carbon 1055 Tool Steel. It was razor-sharp out of the box. Though carbon steel, 1055 holds its edge pretty well even after exposure to constant hacking and chopping tasks.
The good news is, when your blade finally blunts, carbon steel is easy enough to sharpen. A sharpening stone or puck or a simple knife sharpener should be more than enough to help you keep the blade sharp. A reverse side spike is also an excellent tool for digging, and it is blunt enough to keep you from actually cutting yourself.
You will have noticed, this tomahawk comes with a powdered coating, and you can find it in numerous different colors. The tan color looks great, but black is a little more stylish. The blade coating is functional and stylish and makes it possible to use the tool in all weather conditions without you having to worry about potential rust setting in.
When looking for a good tomahawk, we would like to check a few boxes before even using it. One of these is a comfortable and ergonomic design. Having an ergonomic handle wrapped in paracord helps to keep it comfortably nestled in your palm. It also ensures that you have even more comfort when it comes to using it.
Depending on your hands, you will either like the grip or not. Individuals with smaller hands have felt the cord is a little too thick, and this could cause some discomfort when the weapon is used for an extensive period. However, once you get used to it and find the perfect grip, you will use it for an array of different jobs.
The Shock N’ Awe comes with a black Kydex plastic MOLLE compatible sheath. The sheath design is functional, and it’s easy to remove the tomahawk and place it back in the sheath. As expected with most larger tools, it is a two-handed operation.
Balance and Application
The Browning Shock N’ Awe Tomahawk is lightweight, but most importantly, the balance is near perfect. This near-perfect weight distribution is another factor that contributes to the versatility of this tool. While it is by no means intended to be a throwing-ax, we would not blame you for trying. Chances are you’ll have at least some success, and the Shock N’ Awe is more than sturdy enough to endure the hammering.
As with any lightweight tool, you might need to hack a few times for this tomahawk to make it through certain wood types, but it remains sharp for quite some time. Right out of the box, it should go through a thick rope and effortlessly split dried firewood. The pointed end easily penetrates lighter metals like car doors and aluminum sheaths if needed.
With tactical tomahawks, versatility is critical. The Browning Shock N Awe flirts with providing tactical application, so a glass-breaker was added to the end of the handle. A handy addition to have when you find yourself in precarious situations or if you need to help someone get out of a motor vehicle. The glass breaker is easily accessible and can be used with the Kydex sheath still attached.
A tomahawk is not necessarily the best tool when it comes to self-defense. Drawing the weapon is tedious, but this tomahawk is light enough that it can be wielded when you need to defend yourself. The Shock N’ Awe is well-suited for trips that lead you into the territory of predators and other wild animals that might be hostile. However, we still recommend considering a can of bear spray when you are entering their territory.
What We Like:
- Lightweight with an ergonomic feel
- Durable construction
- It can be used as a tactical weapon
- Arrives sharpened
- Versatile design with multiple tools added
- Really affordable
What We Didn’t Like:
- The paracord might be a little thick for smaller hands
- Many claim it to be heavy for tactical purposes
Should You Buy the Browning Shock N’ Awe Tomahawk?
At such an affordable price point, this tomahawk is worth money. The weapon is stylish and can help make your life a little easier in the world of bushcraft or even when simply enjoying the backcountry. It might take some time to get used to the handle, but this does give you optimal grip compared to many others.
Overall, the Browning Shock N Awe Tomahawk will be an excellent investment to someone who needs to buy a tomahawk and keep the price as low as possible. Doing the research, we found it hard to find a tomahawk with a similar price point with all these features. On top of the versatility, it also looks impressive.
If you are tired of not having the right tools for your trips, or you would like something handy to have around the home for bushcraft, you might need to give this tool a try. It makes life so much easier to know that you can safely tackle tasks that even a large survival knife would be taxed to do.
Jean lives in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. He is an outdoor enthusiast with years of experience reviewing gear. Jean holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from North-West University.